Skip to comments.Pope Francisco writes to La Repubblica: "An open dialogue with non-believers"
Posted on 09/12/2013 10:10:37 AM PDT by edwinland
Dear Dott. Scalfari,
I would cordially like to reply to the letter you addressed to me from the pages of "La Repubblica" on July 7th, which included a series of personal reflections that then continued to enrich the pages of the daily newspaper on August 7th.
First of all, thank you for the attention with which you have read the Encyclical "Lumen fidei". In fact it was the intention ... not only confirm the faith in Jesus Christ, for those who already believe, but also to spark a sincere and rigorous dialogue with those who, like you, define themselves as "for many years being a non-believer who is interested and fascinated by the preaching of Jesus of Nazareth".
In particular, I think there are two circumstances which today cause this dialogue to be precious and necessary.
The first circumstance - that refers to the initial pages of the Encyclical - derives from the fact that, down in the centuries of modern life, we have seen a paradox: Christian faith, whose novelty and importance in the life of mankind since the beginning has been expressed through the symbol of light, has often been branded as the darkness of superstition which is opposed to the light of reason. Therefore a lack of communication has arisen between the Church and the culture inspired by Christianity on one hand and the modern culture of Enlightenment on the other. The time has come and the Second Vatican has inaugurated the season, for an open dialogue without preconceptions that opens the door to a serious and fruitful meeting.
(Excerpt) Read more at repubblica.it ...
Posted yesterday: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3065600/posts
I agree, one must read the entire letter, and NOT to depend up the news reports for anything more than the knowledge about the letter and a link to it.
Many are called, few are chosen.
Well, why? The news is always fair and balanced when it comes to the pope and the church
My mistake. I searched for the word “pope” twice before posting, but I just realized I searched keywords instead of titles.
I found aspects of the letter troubling or at least wanting. Yes, we are grafted into the true faith and, so, our brothers in the Jewish faith do not have to convert, they are already in the true faith. But, is it not commanded that we are to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel? And, we not to provoke our Jewish brothers to jealousy for their (and our) God?
Also, I think I disagree with the Pope saying that there might not be any absolutes as this seems to say that God is not sufficient unto himself. Did he create us, for example, because he was lonely? The traditional answer to this does incorporate what the Pope said, so perhaps the Pope only gave an answer to a direct question, and not a complete answer.
God in his infinite love and creativity brought forth his Son and the Holy Spirit and through his Son created us and the entire universe as an expression of his love. So, it’s not that he was lonely, no even that he had to, but that he was impelled, freely, to express his love in his creation. Think of a great artist and a canvass. He is impelled, is he not, to express himself; but, this is not by any external force, but is an inner compulsion.
So little time to read the entire letter.
in order to have faith one must believe that those things that are written in the bible actually happened as written.
(I do not deny the existence of any of the biblical figures, just their interpretation of what they saw and documented)
“Yes, we are grafted into the true faith and, so, our brothers in the Jewish faith do not have to convert, they are already in the true faith.”
That is not true...the whole point of Romans 9, 10, and 11 is that God, through Paul, is saying that some of the branches were broken off BECAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF(11:19) so that the Gentiles might be grafted in.
A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come it; and so all Israel [all who believe in Yeshua, their Redeemer] will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” (11:25-26)
If they (Israel) do not continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
This is what God says, not the pope.
Jesus, to Nicodemus: “You must be born again!” I think Nicodemus was a Jew. Paul was faultless concerning the law but needed to be born again.
Paul WAS born again.
So, I think there's ground for a dialogue about morality with everybody except Muslims. I except Muslims because Muslims specifically reject the natural law, so with Muslims one could only reason based on Sharia, and since Sharia is closed and in any event subject to the rule of the established Sharia law authorities (the "ulema"), there's no talking to Muslims from the get-go.
But we Christians really can talk with anybody who accepts that morality is discernible from the facts of creation.
I would add that so long as a person is committed to the Truth and the Natural Law, then that person is in a very real sense committed to Christ, even though he or she may be unaware of that fact, or maybe even vehemently rejects any affiliation with Christ. That's because Christ is the Way (the Natural Law) and the Truth. I believe that Solzhenitsyn was committed to the Truth to the point he was willing to suffer the GULAG for it before he realized the Truth has a name - Jesus Christ. He was a Christian but didn't know it." With such people I will speak humbly. The Pope is right about this. So long as a person believes that things like basic human rights are "self-evident", then let them in good faith believe in Nature, and let Nature's God reveal Himself to them in His time.
Yes, and quite dramatically.
All of us start out in unbelief, but the Gospel offers us salvation by faith in Christ. Jesus didn't leave room or offer salvation for those who conveniently follow their conscience, yet remain in unbelief.
Muslims deal in strange memories and fantasies that would be merely in he subconscious of life. There is a flipping of what should be conscious unconscious and vice versa.
The Jewish people love history and that ties in with repent to Christ God of innocence. Bad memories become good when they give examples towards righting oneself and realizing the greatness of God to heal us anew. Once anew the bad memories are of no concern and irrelevant. It is the stubborness in denial which makes them all the more teasing from the so called unconsciousness of Freud.
Things like sex to a Muslim is part of the daily conscious. It’s like driving a car. First manipulation of the steerig wheel is conscious, then the driving and ride an living the journey becomes priority to the conscious whereas the controls are pretty much ignored and left for the “spine” to enjoy on it own without interfering with the enjoyment of the ride itself.
This is why stating that marriage is subservient to sexual orientation shows how confused and dangerous our society has become.
that’s a beautiful point about Solzhenitsyn.
Yes, he did thank God for the gulag.
Actually, more gained than lost in your reposting. the World War III video has been posted a dozen plus times in the last 3-4 days.
Remember to whom Pope Francis was writing. And I see “absolutes” as possibly meaning “absolutes from a human perspective/understanding.” I’m still working on digesting the letter. I see this letter as directed to non-Jewish non-believers, aka pagans, atheists, secular humanists, etc.
This is what God says ...
Excuuuuuse me MR. VOICE OF GOD.
I can see why you object to the Pope claiming to interpret the Bible, since that encroaches on your territory. But, there’s a funny thing about the Reformation, that every believer is free to interpret the Bible. It de-thrones all would be Popes and simultaneously elevates all those whose study of the Bible and reasonableness makes him a good authority, even if not an infallible authority.
Now, as to the specifics of what you are saying. This is “replacement philosophy,” that Christians are the new and better children of God, and the Jews no longer play a special role in salvation history. Then why is the devil so hell bent on killing the Jews? Did he not get the word?
Just as I objected to the Pope’s apparent acceptance that Judaism and Christianity are two distinct but still legitimate religions, I object to replacement philosophy. The Jerusalem Council made it clear that we do not have to become Jews to become Christians, and Paul adds that we are called in our place and, so, should not be anxious about the matter. And maybe he said something about this in his letter to the Galatians. So, I myself don’t make a big deal of it. Besides, it is said that when Jesus returns, God’s name will be one, implying that before Jesus returns there will be disagreement about his character. So, in my book, this all adds up to “chill out.”
The pope, if he believes that unbelief does not lead to damnation and hell, does not believe what God says in His word—that we are all born
1) unrighteous (Romans 1:18)
2) in sin (sinners) (1 John 5:17)
3) ungodly (Romans 1:18)
4) not able to enter the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 6:9)
5) under God’s wrath (Romans 1:18)
6) dead in our trespasses and sins, i.e., spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1-10)
7) in need of being born again (born from above) in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3), same as the kingdom of heaven
Then the pope is giving “non-believers” a false sense of security in their own righteousness, just like the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ time had, whom He dealt with on the same issue.
The Jews, who knew the law, trusted in themselves that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt (Luke 18:9-14). The Gentiles didn’t even have the law and were guided by their own sense of right and wrong, or flesh, as they still do today...many with seared consciences. Yet they too, come under God’s perfect justice according to His Word.
I couldn’t agree more, that the Gospel offers us [BOTH JEW AND GENTILE, Romans 1:16] salvation by faith in Christ, and that Jesus didn’t leave room or offer salvation for those who follow their conscience (or whatever else they follow), yet remain in unbelief.
When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus He told him that unless he was born again he could not see the kingdom of God, speaking of spiritual rebirth, since all men come into the world spiritually dead.
Up until that time, all men who believed in God’s promise of the Deliverer went to Hades, to the part called Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16). No man would ascend into heaven until Jesus Himself had been crucified, buried, risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven. When Jesus descended into Hades, He took the spirits of those OT believers into heaven with Him into heaven, as well as the thief on the cross who repented from his sins and asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. All the rest who are still in Hades, the ungodly, will remain there until He returns and death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire (gehenna, hell).
So, then “Born again” = to have a new spirit, a new heart, the Holy Spirit, and the law written on our hearts; to have a righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20); to have the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22); to become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), to be justified and reckoned as righteousness (Romans 4:5-8), to be set free from the bondage of sin and death (Romans 7:25; 8:2-4); to have entrance into the kingdom of heaven, in the presence of our heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus.